Orange Tree Theatre announces the play titles and full cast for Inside – the first instalment of Inside/Outside, a collection of world premiere short plays by emerging and established writers. Anna Himali Howard directs Samantha Spiro (Diana) in Guidesky and I by Deborah Bruce, Ishia Bennison (Meg) and Jessica Murrain (Samia) in When the Daffodils by Joel Tan, and Fisayo Akinade (Jay) and Sasha Winslow (Callisto) in Ursa Major by Joe White. Inside will be performed and livestreamed from the Orange Tree Theatre’s auditorium, 25-27 March.


Inside looks at the lives of three women forgotten by the world, but not by themselves. Outside will be streamed live 15 – 17 April, with further information and casting to be announced.

The Inside/Outside series is curated by OT Literary Associate Guy Jones. Inside/Outside is part of OT On Screen, the Orange Tree Theatre’s digital project launched in January 2020 with Maya Arad Yasur’s play Amsterdam, watched by over 25,000 people worldwide. The productions, filmed in collaboration with The Umbrella Rooms, mark the company’s first live-streamed project, and the first live performances at the Orange Tree Theatre since lockdown began on 16 March 2020.


The six world premiere plays will be published in a collection by Nick Hern Books on 25 March – pre-order available from their website. Bookers for the livestream will receive an exclusive half-price offer on the published collection.

All rehearsals and filming will be conducted in a Covid secure environment in line with current government guidelines.

With thanks to the Hayburn Trust, and to DCMS and Arts Council England for support through the Culture Recovery Fund.


by Deborah Bruce

Being scammed on the internet is just the start of an isolating experience for Diana as she has to confront a threatening world.

Deborah Bruce’s theatre credits include The House They Grew Up In (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Distance (Sheffield Theatres/Orange Tree Theatre – finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), Joanne (Latitude Festival/Soho Theatre), The Light (Live Theatre), Same (National Theatre) and Godchild (Hampstead Theatre). As a director, her credits include Pride and Prejudice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).

Samantha Spiro plays Diana. Her previous theatre credits include Lady Windermere’s FanDi and Viv and Rose (Vaudeville Theatre), The House They Grew Up InFunny Girl (Chichester Festival Theatre), Guys and Dolls (Phoenix Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Noel Coward Theatre), Kafka’s Dick (Theatre Royal Bath), MacbethThe Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe), Filumena (Almeida Theatre), CompanyA Midsummer Night’s DreamAs You Like It (Sheffield Theatres), Chicken Soup with Barley (for which she was nominated for the Evening Standard Theatre Award and WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actress), The Family Plays (Royal Court), Hello Dolly! (for which she won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical), Much Ado About NothingA Midsummer Night’s DreamAs You Like ItLady Be GoodMacbethThe Boys from Syracuse (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Twelfth Night (Donmar Warehouse at Wyndham’s Theatre); Two Thousand YearsCleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick (National Theatre), A Little Night Music (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Bedroom Farce (Aldwych Theatre, UK tour), Merrily We Roll Along (Donmar Warehouse – for which she won the Olivier Award and WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actress in a Musical), Jumpers (Birmingham Rep), and Roots (Watford Palace Theatre). Her television credits include Ridley RoadSex EducationCall the MidwifeSemi-DetachedPortersDoc MartinTracey Breaks the NewsDoctor WhoGame of ThronesPlebsTracey Ullman’s ShowLondon SpyThe Wrong MansBad EducationPsychobitchesLittle Cracker: Rainy Days and MondaysGrandma’s HouseRock & ChipsAfter You’ve GoneCouplingMIT: Murder Investigation TeamCold Feet, and TV Go Home. For film, her credits include Me Before YouTomorrow La Scala!From Hell, and Beyond Bedlam.


by Joel Tan

Meg is alone in her flat, relying on the care and kindness of Samia. She’s had enough of her four walls and wants to escape, but the world outside has rules of its own.

Joel Tan is a Singaporean playwright based in London. His credits include Love in the Time of the Ancients (Shortlisted for the 2019 Papatango Prize), Tango (Pangdemonium Theatre – nominated for Life Theatre Award’s Best Original Script), Café (The Twenty-Something Theatre Festival), The Actors Tour (international tour), Mosaic (M1 Festival) and The Way We Go (Checkpoint Theatre). He is part of 503 Five, Theatre503’s residency scheme and an associate artist with Chinese Arts Now and Singapore’s Checkpoint Theatre

Ishia Bennison plays Meg. Her previous credits for Orange Tree Theatre include Once We Were MothersStrange OrchestraMother Courage, and Squat and Edward and Anna. Other theatre credits include Missing People (Kani, National Theatre, Tokyo/Leeds Playhouse), Romeo and JulietThe Merry Wives of WindsorCandideOur Private LifeA New Way to Please YouSejanusSpeaking Like MagpiesCymbelineMeasure for Measure (RSC), GoatsTold From the Inside (Royal Court), Half Life (Ustinov, Bath), A Mad World My Masters (RSC/ETT), Julius Caesar (Donmar Warehouse), The Canterbury TalesSamson AgonistesAntony and CleopatraA Midsummer Night’s DreamRichard III (Northern Broadsides), A Couple of Poor Polish Speaking Romanians (Soho Theatre), Bites (Bush Theatre), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Manchester Library Theatre), Arabian Nights (Young Vic), and Medea (Monstrous Regiment). Her television includes Happy ValleyNew TricksLast Tango in HalifaxLittle Howard’s Big QuestionTrue Dare KissHollyoaks in the CityAt Home with the BraithwaitesBurnside, and EastEnders.

Jessica Murrain plays Samia. Her previous theatre credits include Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe), Peter Pan (National Theatre/Troubadour White City), A Christmas Carol (RSC), King Lear (Duke of York Theatre), The Wind in the Willows (Sherman Theatre), Skate Hard Turn Left (The Pack/BAC), DIGS (Theatre With Legs/Camden People’s Theatre/Pleasance Edinburgh), Messiah (Bristol Old Vic), The Long Trick (Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol/VAULT Festival), and A Christmas Treasure Island (Hull Truck). Her television credits include Doctors, and Soulmates, and for film Romeo and Juliet.


by Joe White

Two strangers learn that they can help one another move forwards in Joe White’s Ursa Major.

Joe White’s debut play Mayfly premièred at the Orange Tree in 2018, for which he won Most Promising New Playwright at the OffWestEnd Awards and was nominated for Best New Writer at The Stage Awards. He has written work for The Old Vic, Lyric Hammersmith, Bush Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Birmingham REP and BBC Radio 3. In 2014, he was selected for the BBC Writersroom 10 and won the Channel 4 Playwriting Award. In 2015, he was the Writer in Residence at Pentabus Theatre Company, and in 2017, he was selected for the Orange Tree Writers Collective and the Old Vic 12. In 2019, he was selected for the BBC TV Drama Writers Programme, through which he is developing a pilot with STV. He is currently under commission with Sheffield Theatres, Audible and Carnival Films.

Fisayo Akinade plays Jay in Ursa Major. His previous theatre credits include Romeo and JulietThe AntipodesAntony and CleopatraThe Barber Shop Chronicles (National Theatre), Shipwreck (Almeida), The Way of the WorldSaint JoanThe Vote (Donmar Warehouse), Pigs and DogsThe Crossing Plays (Royal Court), The Tempest (Shakespeare’s Globe), Barbarians (Young Vic), As You Like It (New Wolsey, Ipswich), Refugee BoyWaiting for Godot (Leeds Playhouse), and Neighbours (HighTide). His television credits include Martin’s CloseSilent WitnessA Very English ScandalIn the DarkA Midsummer Night’s Ordinary LiesCucumberBanana, and Fresh Meat, and for film The Personal History of David CopperfieldThe Girl with All the Gifts, and The Isle.

Sasha Winslow plays Callisto in Ursa Major. As a teacher and director, she has worked with the Young Vic Neighborhood Theatre, the RebElders of Southwark Playhouse and is an active member of Cardboard Citizens. Her acting credits include Here For Life.

Anna Himali Howard directs. Her previous theatre credits include I Wanna Be Yours (Paines Plough/Bush Theatre), A Small Place (Gate Theatre), Albatross (RWCMD/Paines Plough/Gate Theatre). As a theatremaker, her credits include Jane Anger (Yard Theatre Live Drafts), Mahabharat/a (Camden People’s Theatre), and The Beanfield (New Diorama Theatre, national tour). Howard was Associate Director on Fleabag (Drywrite/Soho Theatre international tour), was Paines Plough’s Trainee Director in 2016 and is an alumnus of the Birmingham REP Foundry. She was recently a Staff Director at the National Theatre.

Shankho Chaudhuri is Designer, with Lighting Design by Jessica Hung Han Yun, Sound Designer and Composer: Anna Clock, and Casting by Sarah Murray.

About Author /

Kath is an actor, singer and writer with a passion for theatre. She has been reviewing for At The Theatre since 2014. Kath has a Masters in Performance at Liverpool Hope University and is Creative Engagement Worker for B arts, a participatory arts organisation.

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